THE city continued to witness smog, a day after a fire broke out at the Deonar dumping ground. The Air Quality Index (AQI) too worsened in the city, falling into the ‘very poor’ category the whole of Friday.
The AQI recorded in the evening in the city was 325, the worst this year. During Diwali last year in November, the AQI recorded by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) had been 313.
In the first week of January too, the air quality had worsened to 315. Most suburbs also recorded high pollution levels with Malad recording the highest at 414. Except for Worli, Mazgaon and Colaba where air quality was in the poor category, seven suburbs registered high levels of pollution in the ‘very poor’ category that poses a health hazard.
The IMD said that they had not received any report of fog in the city. However, visibility remained affected in most parts reportedly due to the smoke from the fire and the winds over the Arabian sea, leading to high humidity. The minimum temperature recorded in the city was 17 degree Celsius at Santacruz and the maximum was 33. A minimum temperature of 20.2 and a maximum of 30.6 were recorded at Colaba.
The weather has also triggered health issues in the city. According to general physician Pradip Shah, attached with Fortis hospital in Mulund, two patients of asthma required hospitalisation and a few others were treated on out-patient department basis in the past three days for respiratory infection. He claimed the cold season was responsible for respiratory infections. Particulate matter settles in the lowest layers of atmosphere during lower temperatures. He added that the fire in the dumping ground added to the pollution.
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“The carbon monoxide in the smoke, along with phosphate and sulphur particles, is harmful for the body. The cold weather and smoke has aggravated bronchospasm, cough and breathlessness,” he said. Bronchonspasm is an inflammation of airway, causing asthma and bronchitis.
In Kurla, Kohinoor hospital is also receiving respiratory infection cases. “With rise in quantity of smog, we expect a rise in such cases in the coming days,” said Shahid Barmare, general physician. He added that the garbage might have other toxic substances that could affect health.
Meanwhile, officials from the fire department said that they had been able to bring the fire at the Deonar dumping ground under control. “The fire had spread across 2 square km inside the dumping ground. A total of six fire engines and six water tankers were pressed into action to douse the fire,” said an official from the fire department.
The lack of paths to reach the dumping ground made it difficult to reach the spot, the official added. Locals said smoke from certain areas which had not completely cooled down continued to rise.